Using Spider-Man as a lens through which to satirize the contemporary media landscape is one of my running jokes that I am reasonably sure is primarily for my own enjoyment, though, you know, if I’m wrong, please contact me about doing a J. Jonah Jameson-centered Marvel Cinematic Universe Netflix series called Bugle! Anyway, one strand of said show would involve Spider-Man’s awkward position in being both a superhero and someone who profits from the public’s hunger for superhero-themed content. And just as news outlets’ coverage decisions are more and more influenced by web traffic and Facebook sharing behavior, what’s to say Spider-Man won’t start engaging in clickbait superheroics? If he determines that, say, photos of Spidey battling Doc Ock get more pageviews than photos of him sparring with the Shocker, will he allows the latter to commit crimes unmolested? Will his dignity allow him to follow through on the implications of the viral success of Buzzfeed’s “Top 10 Spider-Fail GIFs We Can’t Stop Laughing At”? The thing that, in the long run, will save him from falling into this trap is probably his total incompetence as a journalist; he can’t even figure out that hiding a tiny point-and-shoot camera in a tree forty feet away from the house where he’s about to confront a not terribly photogenic opponent is a bad idea, so presumably he’s completely incapable of getting useful data out of the Daily Bugle’s Chartbeat analytics dashboard.
Elmo is, in his quiet way, the most unsettling character in Blondie: an elementary-school-age child who seems to have few friends and no family and just hangs out a lot at the home of an adult non-relative. I can’t quite put my finger on why, but for me today’s revelation that Elmo also apparently spends time Dagwood’s next door neighbor and best friend definitely makes things substantially weirder.
Dick Tracy, 9/27/16
Let’s give a big shoutout to the Colvard Institute, D.C.’s #1 think-tank for providing anti-extraterrestrial talking points to elected officials on both sides of the aisle! I certainly hope that, after they had their summer intern multiply two times three and get six and then multiply six by three thirteen times, they decided that was the equivalent at least ten billable hours.
Beetle Bailey, 9/27/16
I gotta say, if you had asked me what Beetle Bailey character was running an underground pharmaceutical ring, I would’ve guess Cosmo, or maybe Killer. Plato wouldn’t have even been on my list of suspects!